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Hannu Sirén: The Symbol, 1985. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Symboli / The Symbol

Artist Hannu Sirén

, Helsinki

‘The Symbol’ is a steel ball 3 metres in diameter. It is located in the entrance of the Ympyrätalo facing the Hakaniemi market place. Hannu Siren made the work to complement the building designed in the 1960s by his parents Heikki and Kaija Siren for the former bank Kansallis-Osake-Pankki. Siren’s working title for the piece was ‘Squirrel’s nest’. The name was a reference to the symbol of the bank, a squirrel, and to the round banking room in the middle of the round Ympyrätalo. These references were probably the insipiration for the final name of the work. ‘The Symbol’ is a minimalist work which refers to itself and its basic form, structure and material. Its shape and location make it an active and outspoken work. It does not compete for attention with its surroundings, instead, it seeks to assimilate into it, as if it had always been there.

‘The Symbol’ is a work one always takes a glance at, looking for a reflection of one’s self on its surface, almost waiting for the ball to start rolling…

The work doesn’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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